Seeing Past a Home Stager’s Wizardry

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The staging of homes for sale with the intent to give them a more show home-like feel is gaining in popularity, especially this time of year when things get a bit competitive out there in the housing market.

While it`s certainly nicer to view a dolled up home then a neglected one, a recent article on Moneyville reminds buyers to try to see past the rented, matching furniture and trendy area rugs.

“Remember that no matter how beautifully decorated a home may be, its true value hinges on practical considerations — how much space it offers, the neighbourhood it’s in, how many bedrooms and bathrooms it has.”

Instead, the article notes, pull back those gorgeous silk curtains to check the state of the windows and measure rooms to be sure the stager hasn’t brought in smaller furniture to make the room look bigger. Will your own couch or dresser really fit?

Also, take a good look at the closet space as stagers will often clear out closets to make them appear larger. Lastly, avoid being carried to la-la land by the soothing sounds of Kenny G playing in the backround and the mountain of designer throw pillows on the couch. Imagine what your real life will look like in the property with toy fire trucks waiting to be stepped on in the living room and humans and four legged friend alike milling around that fancy kitchen island at dinner time. The house has to work for you in real life once the stager has taken back their furniture sets and artwork. If it does, then you will have been given some great ideas on how to decorate when you move in, but if it turns out that your measurements of the stairway reveal that you`ll never be able to bring your prized antique dresser to your master bedroom, then you`ll have saved yourself alot of disappointing.

Go here to read the article for more tips but I have to say, I’m not a fan of ‘Viewing it Live’ as it suggests you insist on seeing the property around supper time, with the sellers present to get a real feel for how workable the space really is. I think that`s just plain rude and has a day-at-the-zoo sort of feel.

Instead, I suggest bringing the whole fam-damily ( minus pets of course) to a second viewing and stand in the kitchen as you would at home – teenager in the fridge looking for a snack right before dinner, small child sitting directly in front of the oven door that you have to open immediately because the pie is burning, doing a 250 piece puzzle of course, last nights dishes piled on the counter along with two notes from school that you forgot to sign, the cat`s bag of food and a mini bouncy ball. Now that`s what I call “staging”!


As the company’s first employee, Jennifer has been a Licensed Mortgage Associate since 2004, but her current role is not focused on mortgages. She is the resident blog writer and…

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